"I am scared to death to go back to work tomorrow," said teacher Sunny Mueller. "We've had teachers assaulted, shoved around, eggs thrown at them," said Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association president Brad Barnes. "Last week, there was a homemade bomb that went off in the boys bathroom," said teacher Katie Irwin.
Mayhem. That's how teachers last night at the Bakersfield City School District board meeting described their classrooms and schools. Specifically Curran middle school, Stiern middle school and Mckinley elementary.Also kids are allegedly bringing drugs, alcohol and weapons on campus.
"There was a meeting last week and a question was asked 'How many of you are concerned for your safety?' and there were about 25 of us in the room and everyone raised their hand," said Irwin.
Teachers say the problem is lack of discipline enforcement by the district. "Kids are not being suspended for bad behavior," said Irwin.
The union says BCSD is not suspending, expelling or rotating students because budget cuts have left fewer resources to do so. Also, schools only get paid when a student is physically in school, so money is lost every time a student is suspended. Barnes says about $675,000 is lost per year from suspensions which is why the district has enforced a policy to reduce student suspensions 40 percent.
But teachers say saving money comes at a higher cost to them. "I have to fight the urge to throw up because I am so nervous," said Mueller.
At the meeting, the superintendent pledged to handle the problem. Also the board suggested a task force be created to look into discipline problems. But the teachers say they need action now. "Help us, you can do it, you can help us, please do so," said Mueller to board members.
District officials went to Stiern, Curran and Mckinley schools Wednesday to examine and explore solutions to discipline problems using existing resources.
Also, an email was sent to every principal in the district spelling out the district's discipline code and asking that it be explained to students and staff.
Copyright Report a typo or inaccuracyCopyright 2011 by TurnTo23.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.